Dr. Shapira's Chicago Headache Blog

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stress vs. Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are often referred to as stress headaches for a very good reason. Stressful situations make a person tense, and, this, in turn, causes actual physical changes in a person's body that can cause a headache.

Some factors that contribute to stress in our everyday lives are work-related problems, poor eating and sleeping habits, chronic medical conditions, and constant worrying brought on by the current economic conditions and global problems.

Stress on the human body causes changes in breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and causes teeth clenching behaviors and muscle tension along with changes in sleep patterns and moods. Physical stress on the muscles of the head and neck may trigger a tension or stress-related headache. Adequate rest, a proper diet and regular exercise can assist you in preventing stress or tension-related headaches.

While over-the-counter medications alleviate the pain of a tension or stress-related headache, eliminating the underlying causes of the stress, whether physical or emotional, is a healthier way to approach the problem. A treatment plan that addresses the causative factors of your stress, or at least helps alleviate the physical manifestations of your stress, can offer you relief from your headache pain.

If you suspect stress and tension are the causes of your headaches, please contact an experienced headache physician in your area today for an evaluation.

posted by Anonymous at 1:46 PM

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